Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? (MSG)
"Surrender: to give the control or use of (something) to someone else". (Merriam-Webster) It should be easy. He has proved to me time and time again that He will provide, He will care for me, He will help me through the rough times, the dark times. And yet, there a many times when I find it difficult to "surrender", to give it ALL to Him.
Throughout life we find ourselves in places that leave us feeling stressed, worried, oppressed and anxious. Places that make us feel like life is spinning out of control, beyond our reach. The perfect Christian should easily give it to God,right? Just let it go. And yet we are not perfect, I am not perfect. No matter how hard I try I can never achieve the much desired perfection I long for. That is the beauty of God's perfection. He knows my flaws, He see my every weakness that I try so hard to disguise, and he loves me in spite of this. He loves all of us in spite of this. Surrendering our cares to him is somewhat of an art. The more you do it, the more you practice, the easier it becomes.
My worries today are much different, maybe lighter, than they were years ago when I was going through a divorce and trying to figure out how to manage a full time job, two kids, and a home, but they still exist. I have days when my kids drive me crazy and I try so hard to "hold it together". Or I have to deal with a customer who is purely rude. Maybe I simply feel like I'm not good enough, as a mother, a wife, or a leader. Or I'm just tired and want to crawl under the covers and hide from everyone. What I have learned is to be still. To be still and know that God will support me, hold me, help me. (Psalm 46:10) It's challenging to do this and many times I fall short. When I don't feel instant relief, when I can't feel His presence,I get discourage. But, I know that God has always taken care of me, not always as soon as I wanted but He has always brought me to where I needed to be. So today I pray that when challenges arrive, when I feel discouraged, when I feel like I'm falling short,that I can surrender. Surrender all my cares, my worries, my fears, and my insecurities to Him. Because in His eyes I am good enough! He created me just as He planned. Because I know that His path is much different than mine, but the joy He offers is much larger than anything I could imagine. Because He knows (and I know) the trials and challenges will ultimately bring me closer to Him. Because He has never let me down, NEVER!
"All to Jesus I surrender all to him I freely give, I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live" (Judson W. Van DeVenter, I Surrender All)
The hymn you reference, "I Surrender All" is a personal favorite of mine.
We want to believe that the path God has us walk is a flower-lined, well-paved street with shade trees in just the right places but the truth of the matter is, it rarely is and even when it is, we are just there briefly. Before the Israelites could reach the Promised Land, they had to live out in the desert and often, so must we. Isn't it wonderful that God is also the God of the Desert?